Is Oppenheimer Good? Popular Film Is Not For Everyone


Director: Christopher Nolan

Date Created: 2023-07-21 00:00

Editor's Rating:

If you’re wondering, “Is Oppenheimer good?” prepare yourself for a super honest take on whether Oppenheimer will be worth 3 hours of your time.

Full disclosure, I slept through about 30% of this film and am unashamed to say so.

I was tired on my way to the theatre and the strength that it would take me to force myself to stay awake through 3 plus hours of dry, hard-to-follow dialogue was just not worth it.

I still had to drive home. Alert preferably.

After the first hour when I could see it wasn’t getting any better, I gave in to my boredom and took a series of much-needed naps.

Oppenheimer, in the simplest terms, is several hours of demographically identical men talking about politics and physics, my 2 least favorite subjects in the world.

It’s the last narrative that I would want to be part of.

Admittedly, I watched this film for a lot of the same reasons other people watched it.

Directed by the renowned Christopher Nolan and released on the same day as the popular record-breaking hit Barbie, Oppenheimer effectively generated a lot of buzz in pop culture.

However, after viewing the movie I wondered, would this film have gotten the same undisputed praise if it wasn’t associated with the release of Barbie?

Are people hesitant to admit that they simply don’t understand the complex mechanics behind Oppenheimer so they just concede to the general public opinion that this film is “epic”?

Because when I see the 93% Rotten Tomatoes rating and the 8.6/10 IMDb rating, I’m puzzled.

Yeah, some people may vibe with the film but 93%??!

After watching Oppenheimer for myself, the preliminary opinions that I’ve heard on this film feel grossly overinflated.

I’ll say it: Oppenheimer is overrated.

Based on the subject matter alone, I would have never gone out of my way to watch this movie because I wouldn’t think it was my cup of tea.

I made the wrongful assumption that this film would rope in viewers who even if they weren’t too familiar with the political and scientific history of the atomic bomb, it would still be a comprehensible story.

But alas, from the beginning all throughout the first hour of the film I was completely lost and ran out of all mental energy to force myself to become invested in dialogue that I simply did not follow, did not understand, and did not care to understand.

Characters whose stories moved too fast and whose actions didn’t make all too much sense to me.

I simply could not connect.

Is Oppenheimer Good?

is oppenheimer good
Is Oppenheimer good? film poster
Oppenheimer is a biographical retelling of the career of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who created the atomic bomb.

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No, The Explosions Kept Waking Me Up

Now, I could sit here and give you objectively reasonable explanations for why Oppenheimer is not good but that would mean that I would have paid attention enough to understand what was going on.

So, one of the reasons why Oppenheimer is not good is because it has long stretches of monotone dialogue which effectively lull you into a peaceful, restorative sleep.

But out of nowhere, your peaceful slumber is interrupted by volumetrically incongruent blasts of sound, causing you to have to restart your nap again.

Instead of choosing whether to be a monotone drone of dialogue or a rancorous sequence of explosions, Oppenheimer oscillates jaggedly between the two.

Almost as if it knows that the audience may need a wake-up call amidst the drudgery of the boring conversations.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take too long to return you to your peaceful slumber.

No, It’s Hard to Distinguish People

There are so many of the same type of men in this film and they all speak with the same rhythm, the same speed, and the same super grammatically ancient form of speaking.

It’s hard to distinguish sometimes who’s who, not only physically but in terms of their personalities.

Whose bad, whose good.

What each person wants.

There are so many people to keep track of and they all blend into each other.

There are very few women in this film and their roles are quite muted. Their presence is really only in service to the men from the little I saw.

Everything bleeds into each other and it’s hard to keep up with anything.

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No, It Felt Like Watching 3 Movies In a Row

This movie really feels entirely too long.

Painfully too long.

I was so tempted to put on subtitles or see how much time was left in the film because I would have liked to have more control over my time and not be stuck in the theater for 3 hours.

There’s no way you can hold my attention for that long if you’re not easing me into this world that I’m completely unfamiliar with.

I wouldn’t mind engaging in discussions on politics and physics if Oppenheimer approached it with more simplicity.


The actors did well and the makeup artist absolutely snapped in terms of aging all of the characters for the different time periods of the film.

The technical aspects of the film seemed clean as far as I could tell, and for the parts that I was awake.

But the story man, the story, the pacing, the building of the characters, the meat of the narrative was completely lost on me.

Common Questions

Is Oppenheimer worth watching?

No. Oppenheimer is not worth watching if you aren’t interested in government, physics, and biographies surrounding the making of the atomic bomb.

What is so special about Oppenheimer?

I don’t know. I truly don’t know. I guess because Christopher Nolan directed it?

Is Oppenheimer movie difficult to understand?


In Conclusion…

So what I’m trying to say here is that sleep is important and Oppenheimer is a very effective sleeping device.

Nah, I’m just kidding… (not really though).

To answer the question, “Is Oppenheimer good?” My biased, politically-deficient, physics-repellant mind says a hard no.

Oppenheimer is not good.

I’m sure Oppenheimer is great for people who do understand and enjoy the story behind this movie. But if you’re anything like me, this film may not be your cup of tea.

If you want to spend hours involved in what sounds like political debates and physics equations, then Oppenheimer is probably the masterpiece you’ve been looking for.

But if you want a story that will connect with you, no matter what your academic background is, you might wanna skip this one or at least wait for streaming where you have more power over your watch time.

Rating 3/10

What do you think? Is Oppenheimer good? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,



  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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  • Chiranjib Sahoo

    The fast-paced dialogs do call for a lot of attention, but I felt it encapsulated the urgency of the situation quite well. It didn’t make me want to leave my seat for the restroom despite the enormous pressure building inside me:)

    I am from India, and we have an interval in theatres – a short break of 10 minutes around the midpoint of a film. Hindi movies are written keeping the interval in mind, but for foreign movies, it’s a forced break. It’s a bummer, but under extreme urinary duress, it’s a big relief:)

    Coming back to the film, I disliked the first 30 minutes.

    I was wondering if the hype was all worth it. But I got pulled into it after that.

    Maybe it’s my preference for dialog-heavy movies that did the trick, but it wasn’t the same for the audience. Many had started leaving their seats. Their only motivation to watch Oppenheimer was to experience the explosion of the bomb in IMAX. And even that scene was bluffed to a certain degree.

    Personally, I liked Oppenheimer.

    That doesn’t mean I understood every dialog of it, but its design in the form of a thriller kept me hooked.

    The science was difficult to grasp, but the political intrigue and the foibles of the characters made up for it.

    Perhaps, a second viewing can enhance the experience, but I do not think it’s one of Nolan’s finest that can be watched ad infinitum.

    • IMO Flicks

      India has intermissions? That would have really come in handy in the US for a movie like this one 😂 Not sure how excited I would be to come back after the intermission is over though 😅

      I really wish I was able to get pulled into the dialogue like you were. I agree that the design of the film is practically faultless, but the content of the dialogue was absolutely lost on me.

      I might give it a second try once it comes out on streaming because I am in the minority with not liking the film. But at least with streaming I can rewind if I miss something, pause if I need a break, or exit if I decide I can’t endure round 2 of the film.

      I enjoyed reading your perspective of this film! Thank you for commenting! 😊

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